Many of us remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. The rabbit proclaimed loudly that he was the fastest, the best, the most incredible in all of the forest. He would go on and on about how incredible he was and how he could not be beaten. The rabbit reminds me of some of the businesses out right now who proclaim their greatness without the results or track record to back them up. There is a distinctive difference between substance and noise, though. In business, it isn't the rabbit that wins the race, just the same as it was not the rabbit who won in the parable. It is the contestant that understands the steadiness of the long game. The one with substance is the one whose track record speaks for them, not their hype.
As the rest of the story goes, it was the rabbit who made it way out in front of the turtle and then got cocky, thinking that there was no possibility of being beaten. This represents the businesses who become arrogant and eventually sloppy in the work they do. They focus on their success over the success of their clients. The turtles of the world simply keep their head down, even when it may seem impossible to win the race, and move themselves forward. They stay focused on helping their clients or customers to achieve their goals and allow the race results to speak for themselves.
I think there are too many people who simply want a quick fix, huge bucks, and the massive payoff without running the race at all. Over the years, I have seen countless entrepreneurs take unnecessary and uncalculated risks in order to try to leapfrog ahead. Sometimes they pay off. Sometimes they do not. In my relatively short time as an entrepreneur, business coach, and trainer, roughly 20 years, I have found that slow and steady doesn't just win the race, it ensures that you are running the right race.
I got into business in order to be in control of my destiny, to have a specific lifestyle, and to enjoy the race itself. Money is important, but it isn't my reason for the race. It is a byproduct of running the right race and keeping my slow and steady approach. Fast Eddie pushes to get into any race that will take him to the top as soon as possible. He forgets why he started the race in the first place and makes money the reason for the race. I am not faulting or even dogging on success. I am successful and I earn a great income as well as having a great life. I am reminding myself, as well as anyone reading this, that the race is a great place to be. I am reminding us that when we do the right things and do them right, when we take our time and enjoy the process, we create substance over noise.
This world needs more substance and less noise. Keep your head down. Do what is right. Believe in yourself and your potential. Work harder for your clients and their success than you do for your own. Be Slow and Steady instead of Fast Eddie.
Run the right race!